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Alumni describe program to new students

What students say:

From Wilderness and Civilization I have gained a new understanding of my home, my world and myself. The program is a harmony of scientific knowledge dovetailed with philosophy, ethics, and on the ground experience.
~Mark Ruby, Kalispell, Montana



College of Forestry and Conservation

Alumni Describe the Program

Through the Wilderness and Civilization program I have acquired a stronger understanding and a broader perspective of myself and my relationship to the natural world. It has sparked both a sense of responsibility and a passion to learn what I can about the environment, the human relationship to the environment, and my personal role in the environmental movement.
~Emily Berry

Wilderness and Civ. has done more to equip me for “real world” conservation than any regular class could have. I have learned more about myself, my community, and the land around me in one year than I had previously in my lifetime.
~Audra Labert

Through the program I gained a heightened sense of awareness of the issues that involve myself and the community; an understanding of the natural world that is deep enough to be engaged but shallow enough to crave more; and relationships and bonds that were born of common interests but are maintained by shared aspirations.
~Audra Labert

It’s hard. It’s good. It’s tough. It’s worth it. Truthfully, you may learn more than you want!
~Sara Horvath

I have learned to listen to people more fully and with an open mind. Also, I’ve been given the opportunity to express myself fully. I feel my identity was always supported and that helped me to develop it. I have left the program very happy with myself and I have learned what is important to me. I have found my niche so to speak.
~Sarah Cross

The program was life changing. I now look at the works differently. I see people as a part of nature and pay much more attention to my environment.
~Sarah Cross

The program gave me a better understanding of the natural world, a belief in the need for “on-the-ground collaboration, and a new perspective on indigenous peoples’ land rights. It is challenging at times but in the end it is all worth it; you will make lifetime friends.
~Dave Whisenand

Through Wilderness and Civ. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about both wilderness and human interactions with wilderness and wild places. I also gained an appreciation for communities and everything it takes for them to function and how improvements can be made. I feel as though I have gained a sense of direction this year that I will be able to apply wherever I end up.
~Nicole Hastings

The program is intense, captivating, amazing, community-filled. A once in a lifetime experience. A rollercoaster of an education where you are the driver. The most incredible educational experience I’ve ever had, and will continue to have, as it will stay with me forever.
~Franny Opatz

Through the program I gained a closer connection to the land-- my home and the natural environment-- and how I find my place in each. And how others are influenced to interact with the places they inhabit. Overall, a larger consciousness about how to exist with the area I occupy.
~Nathan Taylor

Undoubtedly this is the most engaged, most interesting and all-affecting, noblest cause for learning of any college experience I’ve ever had. The program is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the ways in which humans in Montana engage their places at the boundaries of wilderness. This broadens your own understanding of home, place and natural environment and crystallizes your ethic toward a place.
~Nathan Taylor

Wilderness and Civilization is the best, most complete academic program I have ever known. It has changed me so profoundly. I finally feel like an empowered person, informed and motivated, not afraid to create change and live in the way my heart tells me.
~Julie Guthrie, Missoula, Montana

I have become better at making connections and seeing the world around me in multiple ways. I have also gained many friendships and amazing memories.
~Chelsey Robison, Pocatello, Idaho

Through Wilderness and Civilization I have gained a vast knowledge of the natural world, communities, society, and many issues involving the environment. From Native Americans to gardening to environmental regulation, I now have a strong understanding of many processes facing the world today. The program planted seeds about how I'd like to live in the future. My life was enriched greatly by the program.
~Andrew Henry, Denver, Colorado

Wilderness and Civilization has been life changing; I've never felt so alive, open to change and aware.
~Beau Larkin, Missoula, Montana

Wilderness and Civilization is what I believe all education, especially higher education should be-allowing and encouraging students to make connections between disciplines/life areas, thinking critically about the world we live in, and how to cooperate to make positive change.
~Ryan Springer, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania

I wish all four years of college were as engaging as the W&C program. I've learned more in one year than in all of my previous school career.
~Leigh Ann Reynolds, Ventress, Louisiana

Wilderness and Civilization is what I'd hoped college would be like. The context and content are so useful in living and making good life choices, what could be better?
~Caroline Knickmeier, Greenleaf, Wisconsin

Nothing else has come close to bringing out such passion and critical thought.
~Mark Thompson, Austin, Texas

Alumni Describe the Program to Interested Students

¤ A year of life at its most intense. You actually get to examine your own beliefs. But is also a year of life at it most beautiful as you struggle and grow with a network of people you love more every day.

¤ The program helps you learn about yourself, you become a close caring family, and you have many great experiences together. The field trips are amazing and the people you will meet are interesting and have many experiences and ideas to talk about. The classes and internships are all great ways to learn and explore yourself.

¤ It is a very difficult program that is completely worth doing because of the people, the classes, the field trips, and personal growth.

¤ An intense yearlong education experience—inside and outside—where you learn immeasurable things about yourself and the world. You walk away with friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

¤ An engaging, emotional, environmental experience worth taking. Life changing.

¤ A wonderful exposure to environmental, political, social, and natural issues surrounding Montana and the world. You develop a family of twenty passionate, interested, and engaged students. It’s a lesson on life, yourself and how to make improvements for the future.

¤ Worth every minute. You’ll be challenged but rewarded. You’ll learn about yourself as much if not more than the subject matter; what could be more worthwhile.

¤ An intensive experience involving land/resource issues and the perspectives therein. You learn about your home, community, and most importantly, yourself. You can’t help but to see things in a new light.

¤ It is a great experience, you get what you put in.

¤ Hard work and lots of it; but rewarding.

¤ Life changing. I’ve never felt so alive, open to change, and aware.

¤ Learning that pervades your life beyond the classroom.